|BATMAN: FUTURES END No. 1, November 2014|
Lured into buying this particular one-shot “Batman” comic because of the excellent Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson cover, it is still hard to fathom out just why this issue succeeded in becoming the highest-selling “DC Comics” title of September 2014. Though doubtless the extra gimmicky 3-D motion cover variant edition contributed substantially towards Diamond Comic Distributor’s estimated sales of 127,823 copies; a figure only bested that month by the first two issues of “Death Of Wolverine” by “Marvel Worldwide”.
However any purchaser who went so far as to open the clear polypropylene bag and check the artwork inside would have found that the interior drawings were infinitely inferior to that of the Canadian artist’s front page illustration. Having previously worked on the 2013 “Constantine” title for the American publishing company, the pencilling of Aco within this book is indistinct, poorly drawn and simply shoddy; possibly some of the worst most incomprehensible artwork witnessed in a comic. Indeed even the quality of drawing from some of those first super-hero strips of the Forties and Fifties is superior to this, and it is actually hard to shake the feeling that the artist knows it too; why else would Bruce Wayne be walking around the Batcave in a white T-Shirt with the Batman logo emblazoned across the chest if it wasn’t to help the reader recognise who the sketchily drawn poorly-animated figure was meant to be?
Fortunately things do get a little easier on the eye when Aco uses an entire page to pencil a panel, an early drawing of The Batman swinging across the rooftops of Gotham City being a strong case in point. But even then the drawing leaves an awful lot to be desired, and these larger illustrations only make the awful two-dimensional colouring of Fco Plascencia all the more obvious.
Grotesque artwork aside, “Futures End – Remains” has little going for it in the plot department either. Fellow “Constantine” collaborator Ray Fawkes (with Scott Snyder) has penned a simple and admittedly action-packed plot which dwells upon one of Bruce Wayne’s most deep-rooted fears – what happens to The Batman after he dies? Who will continue his legacy? The solution, at least according to these writers, is simple… break into Lexcorps impenetrable priority biolab and steal Luthor’s cloning technology so he can create a new Batman with all of his memories ‘up to the night in his father’s study’. Throw in some ED-209 security robot rejects, Bizarro and a wizened, goatee-wearing bespectacled Alfred, all appalling rendered by Aco, and give The Batman forty minutes with which to do it…
|Writer: Ray Fawkes & Scott Snyder, Artist: Aco, and Colors: Fco Plascencia|